Trade Cases

USITC Finds Injury in China and Japan Cold-Rolled Steel Case

Written by Sandy Williams

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced today (June 22, 2016) that it finds that unfairly priced and subsidized imports of cold-rolled steel flat products from China and Japan have hurt U.S. steel producers.

All six commissioners voted in the affirmative. As a result, the antidumping and countervailing duties determined by the DOC in their final decision on May 17 will be issued by Commerce.

The ITC, unlike the Department of Commerce (DOC), did not find critical circumstances in regards to these imports and, as a result, the goods will not be subject to retroactive countervailing or antidumping duties.

Subject to final adjustment, the following dumping margins and subsidy rates determined by the DOC in May, after the companies under investigation failed to respond to Commerce’s request for information, will now be collected.  

The original complaint against the steel producers in China and Japan was filed in July 2015 by US Steel, AK Steel, ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor, and Steel Dynamics Inc. The DOC is expected to issue its final decision with respect to the remaining countries (Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom) in July and the ITC will then make a separate injury determination on those countries.

The products included in these investigations are certain cold rolled, flat rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances.

Response to ITC Decision

United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard said the USW will continue to fight for American jobs and to change U.S. trade policies to ensure a fair trade approach. Gerard released the following statement on the ITC decision:

“Today’s vote signals to steelworkers that more help is on the way. They have been watching as foreign competitors targeted the products they made and the jobs they held by subsidizing and dumping imports into our market. They have waited far too long — almost a year since this case was filed — for the deserved relief that they so desperately needed along with restoration of fair market conditions.

“Our companies and workers play by the rules. Too many of our competitors illegally employ actions that undermine our markets and take our jobs. Today’s decision addresses an important product segment in our domestic steel sector. But, because of the way our laws work, other affirmative final decisions by the ITC will be needed to provide relief to thousands of other workers. Without a comprehensive approach by our government, we have to cobble together relief. This is time consuming, expensive and unfair to those whose jobs have been under attack.”

ArcelorMittal USA called the USITC decision “a victory for the steel industry.”

Jim Baske, CEO, ArcelorMittal North America said, “ArcelorMittal is pleased with today’s final ruling regarding anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on cold-rolled steel imports from China and Japan. We applaud the work done by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) to address unfairly traded imports and level the playing field.”

John Ferriola, President and CEO, Nucor Corp. said, “These final determinations by the International Trade Commission confirm that the U.S. steel industry has suffered harmful effects from imports of dumped and subsidized cold-rolled steel.  Today’s decision is an important step in returning fair trade to the U.S. flat rolled steel market, and sends a clear message that all countries must play by the rules of international trade and will be held accountable for failure to do so.”

SMU Note: Yesterday we received a note from one of our trading contacts who advised us that they had to divert 18,000 tons of cold rolled from China to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada due to the dumping suits. So, there definitely is an impact and from our perspective the 6-0 vote within the ITC could very well signal that all of the other AD/CVD suits will have similar results.

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